• An Evaluation of Turkish Cuisine from the Perspective of Foreign Cuisine Chefs
  • An Evaluation of Turkish Cuisine from the Perspective of Foreign Cuisine Chefs
  • An Evaluation of Turkish Cuisine from the Perspective of Foreign Cuisine Chefs
  • An Evaluation of Turkish Cuisine from the Perspective of Foreign Cuisine Chefs
  • An Evaluation of Turkish Cuisine from the Perspective of Foreign Cuisine Chefs

The phenomenon of tourism is an event that brings societies closer together. Meals are also an important tool in this rapprochement . The tourist eats different dishes of the country he visits, enjoys and enjoys the dishes of different tastes. Therefore, he sympathizes with the country and..

An Evaluation of Turkish Cuisine from the Perspective of Foreign Cuisine Chefs 
A. Celil CAKICI*
Distinguished WORK**
A research was conducted in order to reveal the views of foreign chefs about Turkish cuisine. The data were collected from 11 chefs who participated in the "Mediterranean Cuisine Days" held in September 2014 in Hatay, using the interview form approach. The data were subjected to content analysis. It was stated that the chefs who accepted the meeting had an idea about Turkish Cuisine before .It was determined that they liked the food very much in terms of portion, variety of spices, nutritional value, quality, taste and taste-compatibility. In addition, with the common view that Turkish cuisine has a special place among world cuisines, it has been stated that it contains many different and interesting dishes. On the other hand, it has been determined that it causes discomfort in terms of hygiene, digestion and excess sugar, albeit a little. In the light of the results obtained, some suggestions were made within the framework of the promotion of Turkish cuisine without ignoring the limitations of the research.
All societies in the world have their own culinary culture.what and their diet. These diets are shaped according to the cultural, geographical, economic, ecological structure and historical process. Turks who migrated from Central Asia to Anatolia also have a very rich culinary culture due to their long historical background. In the researches, it is stated that the Turkish cuisine, which has developed and enriched with the influence of various civilizations that lived in Turkey, is among the three richest cuisines of the world and at the same time holds the feature of being the most nutritious cuisine in the world (Arlı, 1982, p.19). The fact that Turkish cuisine is among a rich cuisine from the past provides the food materials and cooking methods used in the production phase of the food. Ingredients used in Turkish cuisine and their properties,
The phenomenon of tourism is an event that brings societies closer together. Meals are also an important tool in this rapprochement . The tourist eats different dishes of the country he visits, enjoys and enjoys the dishes of different tastes. Therefore, he sympathizes with the country and its people. In fact, meals are even the country's advertising tool (Gökdemir, 2009, p.18). Most of the tourists who prefer Turkey want to know Turkish cuisine culture (Doğdubay and Giritlioğlu, 2008, p.452). This study was planned and carried out in order to present the views of international chefs on Turkish cuisine culture and to make suggestions for the promotion of Turkish cuisine.
Turkish Culinary Culture
The cultural values ​​of a society are not only effective on the lifestyles of societies, but also on their eating and drinking habits. For this reason, it is possible to see different eating and drinking habits, food types, different flavors and different cooking and storage methods in different societies (Albayrak, 2013, p. 5052). When an evaluation is made among the world cuisines, the way to rich Seljuk and Ottoman Cuisine was made from the simple food of Central Asia , and the most important and widely admired Turkish Cuisine History of the world was formed together with the Chinese and French Cuisine (Şanlıer, 2005, p.214).
The Turks, who have a long historical background, have a rich culture in cuisine. This richness shows itself in the abundance of food varieties (Yaman, 1988, p.166). It is stated that there are over 3000 types of food in Turkish cuisine (Aktaş and Özdemir, 2005, p.23). When the dishes in Turkish Cuisine are evaluated in terms of content and cooking techniques, soups , kebabs, stews, meatballs, stuffed meats, pies, pilafs, vegetable dishes with olive oil, legumes dishes, chicken, fish, egg dishes, salads, pickles are classified as breads and desserts. (Baysal, 2002, p.42).
When the traditional  Turkish Cuisine culture is examined, there is a historical process of Turks dating back to the 10th and 11th centuries from Central Asia to the present. Factors such as the diversity of the products offered by Asian and Anatolian lands, the interaction with other cultures in the historical process, the presence of new tastes in the Seljuk and Ottoman palaces , the existence of Anatolian cuisine originating from Mesopotamia are the factors that provide the colorfulness and diversity of the Turkish Cuisine (Güler, 2010, p.24). - 25). Therefore, we see that the Central Asian Turks, Seljuk and Ottoman Periods had the greatest influence on  Turkish Cuisine .
The use of meat and fermented dairy products by the nomadic people of Central Asia, combined with the grains of Mesopotamia, the vegetables and fruits of the Mediterranean environment, and the spice of South Asia, has been effective in the formation of a rich culinary culture (Ünver, 1982, p.2). The Seljuks created a unique culinary culture with their food varieties, cooking and preservation techniques (Gülal and Korzay, 1987, p.103). There are two different meals called “zevale” and the other one, which is more filling and is considered a dough-based meal (Ünver, 1982, p.2). The fact that the Ottoman Empire dominated a very wide geographical area and as a result met with many different cultures led to the further development of Turkish cuisine in this period.
In the 15th century, the dishes were few and simple; It lived its most glorious years in the 16th century. This glorious period continued in the 17th and 18th centuries, but the impoverishment process of the Ottoman Empire in the 19th century also affected the Turkish cuisine culture. Another reason for the development of Turkish culinary culture during the Ottoman Empire period is that the Ottoman Empire dominated a very wide geographical area, and as a result, it met and was influenced by many different cultures (Güler, 2008, p.4-5). As the Ottomans improved their relations with the West in the 19th century, our culinary culture began to be influenced by Europe (Güler, 2010, p.6). 
Food has a very important place in Turkish tradition. Accordingly, in almost every stage of social life, in most social relations, food is the basis of the work. Births, circumcision weddings, weddings, holidays, plundered weddings, community meetings and death events are always tried to be taken with the meal. The preparation of the table, the distribution of the meals and the way of hosting the guests are all done according to the tradition (Talas, 2005, p. 278). Turkish cuisine, which is one of the richest cuisines of the world, has both a deep-rooted history and a very rich cultural structure (Serçeoğlu, 2014, p.37). Turkish cuisine, which has an important place among world cuisines, is one of the three richest cuisines in the world, along with French and Chinese cuisine.
The general characteristics of Turkish cuisine can be listed as follows (Güler, 2007, pp. 21-22).
* Turkish food is based on agriculture and animal products.
* Our meals vary according to the geographical regions where our people live. 
* Turkish cuisine also changes according to the social structure in its historical development.
* Turkish dishes vary according to special days and ceremonies. 
* Traditions and customs and religious beliefs have affected the food varieties.
It is possible to find different types of food in Turkish cuisine due to regional differences. In particular, the climate of the region and the agricultural products obtained shape the culinary culture and variety of the region (Cömert, 2014, p.64). Another issue that needs to be emphasized about Turkish cuisine is the nutritive value of Turkish food. The advantages of Turkish food in terms of nutrition and health are due to the fact that Turkish dishes are not one-sided (Baysal, 2002, p.14). In general, Turkish cuisine is influenced by the agricultural and animal foods grown in the geographies of the Turkish nation, other countries and the characteristics of the religion it has accepted.
It is noteworthy that recently, gastronomic tourism has started to take place among alternative tourism types. It is known that a significant part of tourism revenues in the world is provided by gastronomic tourism. In this context, when it is considered that Turkish cuisine is among the few cuisines in the world, it is seen that Turkey has enough attractiveness elements for gastronomy tourism (Cömert and Özkaya, 2014, p.62).
Literature Review
When the literature on the subject is examined, it is seen that studies on Turkish food culture are aimed at evaluating the perspectives of domestic and foreign tourists. Looking at the literature; Şanlıer (2005) conducted a study on a total of 1027 foreign and domestic tourists in various touristic facilities of Turkey in order to examine the views of local and foreign tourists on Turkish cuisine; domestic tourists found Turkish food delicious, appetizing, fragrant and satisfying, while foreign tourists found it delicious, interesting, oily and spicy. 
Albayrak (2013), in his study carried out to reveal the opinions of foreign tourists about Turkish cuisine, although tourists generally find Turkish food absolutely delicious, fragrant, appetizing, satisfying, good-looking, different from other cuisines, healthy, safe, high quality and diverse, at the same time. It was determined that they definitely found too much tomato paste, spicy, oily and caloric. Serçeoğlu (2014) stated in his study with the local people of Erzurum to determine the recognition status of the culinary culture of the local people, and stated that the majority of the participants made local dishes at home, they found Erzurum local dishes delicious and they did not forget the Erzurum culinary culture.
In the literature, Sakarya cuisine culture was examined by Baran and Batman (2013) in order to determine the level of importance of local cuisine cultures in terms of destination marketing, and a field study was conducted in Sakarya and they stated that the level of preference of traditional village breakfast and local dishes by tourists is high in Sakarya. On the other hand, Cömert (2014) examined Hatay cuisine, which is an important region in terms of tourism, in his study titled "The Importance of Local Cuisine in Tourism Marketing and the Example of Hatay Cuisine", and it is aimed to contribute to regional tourism by drawing attention to local dishes. By presenting a conceptual model, Schulp and Tirali (2008) analyzed the culinary culture of Turkish restaurants in the Netherlands and concluded that most of the restaurants serve authentic Turkish food and service.
Purpose of the Research
The aim of the study is to reveal the views of foreign chefs about Turkish cuisine. Thus , it is aimed to make suggestions for the promotion of Turkish cuisine . The study was conducted by chefs who gained experience by recognizing and testing different food cultures.Knowing his thoughts on the Turkish cuisine, having information about the appreciation and criticism of the subject is considered important in terms of both understanding the point of view towards Turkish cuisine and determining the promotional activities. One of the other objectives of the research is to make an evaluation of Turkish cuisine through the eyes of foreign chefs, to guide and make suggestions to the relevant institutions and organizations operating in the tourism industry. In this direction, the main research questions that are aimed to be answered in this study are as follows:
1. When you make an evaluation among World Cuisine, can you share your thoughts about Turkish Cuisine?
2. What are the different aspects of Turkish Cuisine compared to Mediterranean Cuisine?
Research Method
A qualitative data collection approach was preferred in the study. For this purpose, an interview form was prepared. The interview form was shaped with questions that would provide data for the purpose of the research, as well as some questions such as information sources about Turkish cuisine and the dishes tasted. In addition, a scale consisting of 13 expressions (Sheoney, 2005: Aslan, 2010) was used to evaluate the characteristics of Turkish cuisine by foreign chefs. Response categories on this scale were given a 5-point rating as "I Didn't Like", "I Didn't Like It", "What I Didn't Like", "I Liked It" and "I Like It A Lot".
Interviews were held with foreign kitchen chefs who participated in the “Mediterranean Cuisine Days” held in Hatay in September 2014 and held in an international festival atmosphere. Chefs from 10 countries participated in this festival. Although some chefs did not want to meet and some wanted to meet, time could not be arranged due to the intensity of the program. Although it is recommended to have a sample size of at least 15 in all qualitative data collection studies (Mason, 2010, p.3), despite all efforts, only 11 chiefs from 8 countries could be interviewed. The data obtained through interviews were subjected to descriptive analysis. As it is known, descriptive analysis is explained as summarizing and interpreting data according to predetermined themes. It is aimed to reflect the views of individuals in a striking way. The purpose of this type of analysis is to
During the Hatay “Mediterranean Cuisine Days 2014”, interviews were held with participating chefs. During these meetings, a total of 11 chefs from 8 different nationalities were interviewed. These are Slovenia (2), France (2), Italy (2), Algeria (1), Croatia (1 ), Tunisia (1), Montenegro (1), Morocco (1). 4 of the chefs are female and 7 are male. If the education level of the participants is 4 graduate, 3 undergraduate and 3 high school and 1 person It was also determined that the chefs from Slovenia and Montenegro did not have any knowledge of Turkish Cuisine before they participated in the “Mediterranean Cuisine Days”, which was held in an international festival atmosphere.
Foreign chefs obtained information about Turkish Cuisine mostly from books (4 chefs). Also, trying the dishes in person (4 chefs) was another way of gaining knowledge. It was determined that information was obtained from other chiefs (3 chiefs), media (2 chiefs) and internet (2 chiefs). Foreign chefs have tasted kebab and baklava the most and found it interesting. Although many other prominent dishes in Turkish cuisine (such as meatballs, lamb meat, dolma) are tasted or found interesting, kebab and baklava are in the foreground because they are known around the world. 
“What are your thoughts on Turkish Cuisine when an evaluation is made among World Cuisine?” directed to foreign chefs. The answers to the question are as follows: Slovenian chefs stated that Turkish cuisine has a respectable place among world cuisines, that it has the best vegetables and meat, but that they need to improve their cooking techniques. French chefs: They stated that Turkish Cuisine is a deep rooted cuisine with a rich and historical past, but it should be better known and promoted around the world. 
The Algerian chef stated that Turkish Cuisine has a special place among world cuisines and has been influenced by different culinary cultures, especially since the Ottoman Empire period. Italian chefs stated that Turkish cuisine is a rich cuisine where mostly natural products are used, and that it also influenced many different world cuisines. Montenegrin and Croatian chefs stated that different spices are used in Turkish dishes and that the vegetables used create different flavors. The Moroccan cuisine chef stated that it is a rich and historical cuisine and that it should be better known among the world cuisines and better promotion should be made.
“What are the different features of Turkish Cuisine compared to Mediterranean Cuisine?” The expressions of the foreign chefs to the question are as follows: They stated that the chefs of Slovenian cuisine are similar to the Mediterranean Cuisine, but the cooking methods of fish and seafood are different and at the same time they are similar to the North African Cuisine in terms of the materials used. According to the French kitchen chefs, they stated that Turkish cuisine made a difference with the use of peanuts and pine nuts, where rich garnishes and seasonings are used, especially dairy production is common. 
The Algerian kitchen chef stated that Turkish cuisine uses much fresher and daily dairy products compared to its neighbors in the Middle East, that it has a wide range of seafood among Mediterranean cuisines, and that it also uses a wide variety of spices compared to Balkan cuisines. Italian kitchen chefs, on the other hand, defined Turkish cuisine as an important part of the Mediterranean cuisine, as a traditional cuisine that is not affected by different world cuisines but affects many cuisines and uses rich, natural and fresh products. Moroccan cuisine chef, Turkish cuisine has a special and unique identity among Mediterranean cuisines in terms of freshness, quality and abundance of local products, At the same time, it describes it as a cuisine that includes the influence of Asian and eastern cuisine cultures. The Tunisian kitchen chef, on the other hand, stated that Turkish cuisine is a different cuisine when compared to the Mediterranean cuisine.
Which dish(s) from Turkish cuisine would you like to have in your kitchen for foreign chefs? A question was also asked. Foreign chefs generally approached this question positively. Among the Turkish dishes they want to include in their kitchens, Italian, Croatian and Moroccan kitchen chefs highlight kebabs and all kinds of vegetables with olive oil, while the Montenegrin kitchen chef highlighted salad and hummus. The Tunisian chef stated that he wanted to serve künefe in their own kitchen. Foreign kitchen chefs were asked to evaluate the general characteristics of Turkish cuisine with a 13-item scale. 
Although 11 foreign chefs participated in the research, the average and standard deviation values ​​of the general characteristics of Turkish cuisine from the perspective of foreign chefs are given in Table 1 to give an idea.

general feature


S. Deviation

variety of spices






Nutritive value



taste match


















Dough ratio



ease of digestion



Sugar ratio






Table 1. Average and standard deviation values ​​of the general characteristics of Turkish cuisine from the perspective of foreign chefs (n:11) Response categories: 1: I did not like it at all.....5: I liked it very much
Although the limited number of participants in the research is not ignored, without making a general judgment, just in terms of giving an idea, the level of appreciation of foreign chefs about Turkish cuisine in terms of taste, sugar ratio, presentation, portion, variety, nutritional value, quality, hygiene... measured. As seen in Table.1, the expressions with the highest average of the data obtained on Turkish dishes during the period that foreign chefs were in Turkey were the variety of spices used in the Turkish dishes served (x=4.81), the taste of Turkish dishes (x=4.09) and then the nutritional value was determined as (x=4.54). Accordingly, we can say that the foreign chefs participating in the Mediterranean Culinary Days liked Turkish dishes the most in terms of spice variety and flavor during their stay in Turkey. Despite that,
Multidimensional Scaling analysis was performed in order to show 13 features that foreign chefs evaluate Turkish cuisine in a 2*2 space. In this analysis, distances between objects are measured in pairs on the basis of similarity or uniqueness. These similarities or uniqueness are determined through the perceptions of the participants. Analysis results are generally shown on a biaxial spatial map (Nakip, 2004, p.520). 
Multidimensional scaling analysis does not require any assumptions/conditions regarding the distribution of data; It can also be used instead of factor analysis or clustering analysis in cases where distribution conditions cannot be fulfilled (Alpar, 2011, p.384). Multidimensional scaling analysis was done with the Proxscal algorithm. This is because features can convert to proximity data, minimizing normalized row tension. 
As a result of the analysis, it has been determined that the evaluations of Turkish cuisine characteristics are distributed in a two-dimensional space with full harmony (stress value: 0.02045). In addition, Tucker's fitness coefficient, which is considered as a significant index for factor similarity, was calculated as 0.98972; means a very high factor similarity (Gürçaylılar Yenidogan, 2008, p.160). Figure 1 shows the result of multidimensional scaling analysis (Proxscal). Accordingly, flavor, spicyness, taste and taste harmony of Turkish cuisine are considered together as a single factor. On the other hand, variety, quality, nutritional value and dough ratio are perceived as a factor. Portion size, ease of digestion, and sugar content can all be a set. The last cluster is about presentation and hygiene.
When the perception map is read from left to right, that is, the first thing that draws attention is that Turkish cuisine is perceived as having a wide variety, high nutritional value, spicy, good taste and taste-matching, delicious, high quality and dough. Continuing from the line, digestion, sugar rate and hygiene are far away. When read from the reverse column; sugar ratio, portion size, flavor, spicyness and taste-harmonisation stand out. After all; What is interesting in this perception map, especially when viewed from the 2nd dimension, is that hygiene, sugar ratio and digestion are perceived further away (more dissimilar) compared to other features. Therefore, the use of sugar in Turkish cuisine indicates problems in terms of digestive difficulties and hygiene conditions.
Normalized row stress: 0.02045; Tucker's coefficient of fitness: 0.98972 
An Evaluation of Turkish Cuisine from the Perspective of Foreign Cuisine Chefs
Figure 1. Space map of Turkish cuisine features perceived by foreign chefs
Tourism is an important tool for promoting different cultures and local tastes. Turkish cuisine, with its rich content, diversity and cultural features, is an important attraction for the tourism industry (Serçeoğlu, 2014 p.44). For this reason, well-known country cuisines can be an attraction for all local and foreign tourists. In order to increase the interest in country cuisines, it is necessary to determine how it is perceived or known by foreign kitchen chefs. In this context, a small-scale research was conducted in order to reveal the views of foreign chefs about Turkish cuisine.
The majority of the foreign chefs (Slovenian, French, Algerian, Italian, Montenegrin, Moroccan) who expressed their thoughts within the scope of the study, stated that Turkish cuisine has a rich, historical past ( historical view of our cuisine ).) and stated that it has a special place among world cuisines, but it is not known well enough and should be promoted. When compared to the Mediterranean cuisine, it is agreed that Turkish cuisine is a cuisine that uses rich garnishes and seasonings, uses spices intensively, has high quality, special local products and is at the forefront in terms of fresh product use. Especially Italian chefs stated that Turkish cuisine is a cuisine that affects many world cuisines. In addition, it was stated that the cooking methods of fish and seafood differ among Mediterranean cuisines and they have a wide range of products.
It has been determined that they like Turkish Cuisine in terms of portion, variety of spices, nutritional value, quality, taste and harmony, but it also causes discomfort in terms of hygiene, ease of digestion and excess sugar ratio. This is also supported by the perception map. Within the scope of the study, it is possible to put forward the following suggestions for the promotion and development of Turkish cuisine;
* All relevant institutions and organizations, especially the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, can be recommended to include pages promoting Turkish cuisine culture on their sites for foreign tourists and/or to prepare websites in different languages ​​with pictures and videos as well as information promoting Turkish cuisine culture (Albayrak, 2013). , p.5059-5060).
* Creating tour programs based on “Gastronomic tourism” by tour operators and travel agencies can increase awareness of Turkish cuisine among world cuisines.
* By organizing various food festivals in our country, original presentations and promotion of dishes can be ensured. By promoting the festivals to be organized on the internet, wider target audiences can be reached.
* By determining the distinctive features of Turkish cuisine among world cuisines, they can be used as symbols in the promotion of Turkish tourism. In the tourism market, books and brochures for foreign tourists can be printed and delivered to tourists through travel agencies.
* During menu planning in hotel businesses , Turkish dishes must be considered in addition to dishes from world cuisines. The dishes that can appeal to the tastes of foreign visitors can be taken into account (Özdemir and Kınay, 2004, p.26).
* In addition to the presentation of assets for history, culture and health tourism in our country's promotional videos published on the international platform; The transfer of visual values ​​towards Turkish cuisine can be ensured and the level of interest can be increased.
In addition to the general suggestions for Turkish cuisine mentioned above, the following suggestions can be made for foreign chefs and cooks;
* The participation of Turkish cuisine in gastronomy days and festivals held abroad and the presentation of local dishes and original tastes by Turkish chefs may increase the level of interest.
* In addition to the promotion of 3S tourism and accommodation businesses in international tourism fairs, Turkish cuisine and gastronomy tourism-based promotion can be carried out.
* It can be ensured that chefs and chefs who are experts, experienced and have foreign language proficiency in the presentation of Turkish cuisine in international tourism fairs and a strong communication network can be established.
* By increasing the number and variety of international culinary days to be organized in our country, it can be ensured that the different characteristics of regional cuisine cultures are revealed in these organizations and the participation of foreign kitchen chefs and cooks can be increased.
* Information can be transferred to foreign chefs and cooks by creating promotional books and CDs for Turkish cuisine, which arouse interest in terms of visual and content for gastronomic tourism and translated into different languages.
* By employing expert Turkish chefs in food and beverage businesses and accommodation businesses abroad for certain periods, the delicacies of Turkish cuisine can be conveyed through practices.
* A more effective promotion can be achieved by inviting the authors of gastronomy magazines published on the international platform to international food festivals to be held in our country.
* Clean kitchen appliances and equipment should be used in a clean and orderly environment during the preparation and presentation of Turkish cuisine.
* With the regulations to be put into practice by the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Culture and Tourism and local administrations, food and personnel hygiene practices can be made mandatory and the control mechanism can be strengthened. In addition, it can be ensured that the people working in the food and beverage businesses of the tourism sector and the kitchen department of the accommodation businesses are subject to compulsory training on food and personnel hygiene and that these practices are supervised by the unions in both the business and tourism sector.
* Diet menus can be created in spite of the digestive and sugar content, which is slightly disturbed in Turkish dishes. In addition to the animal fat used in the dishes, the same dishes can be prepared with "olive oil" and a different presentation can be made. Despite the sugar content, natural fruits can be used instead of chemical sweeteners.
* Finally, this heritage we have for our country should be evaluated correctly in terms of tourism marketing. It should be noted that the characteristics of the foods prepared for the promotion of our Turkish culinary culture have not been changed and that the real forms of local flavors are preserved (Cömert, 2014, p.70).
As with many studies, this study also has limitations. First of all, the sample size is very small. The reason for this is the idea of ​​overcoming the difficulty of reaching foreign kitchen chefs with foreign chefs who participated in the “Mediterranean Cuisine Days” held in Hatay in September 2014. However, it was very difficult to persuade him to meet during the festival. Therefore, it is necessary to increase the sample size significantly in order to reach more generalizable results. 
Chefs from eight different nationalities participated in the study. This is a low number. Taking chefs from countries that stand out with their cuisines in the world as a sample can provide healthier results. Another limitation of the study is that foreign kitchen chefs made this evaluation while they were guests in Turkey. The drawbacks of this situation can be eliminated by conducting research on similar subjects in the countries where the chiefs live.
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As the head chef Ahmet ÖZDEMİR, I see the source:
Mr. A. Celil ÇAKICI* and  Mr. I sincerely thank Seçkin ESER**  for his academic studies titled "An Evaluation of Turkish Cuisine Through the Eyes of Foreign Cuisine Chefs" and wish him success in his professional life. It will definitely be considered as an example by those who need it in professional kitchens and the culinary community.
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The original text, which is accepted as a source, is as follows. Google translation was used for the necessary language change.